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Ambush Death Toll Rises To 8, State Mourns

CM leads others in paying homage to victims killed in the ambush. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Apr 16: The death toll in yesterday’s am-bush by unidentified armed gunmen on MLA of Phungyar Assembly Constituency Wungnaoshang Keishing and his convoy party has risen to eight with one more injured victim succumbing.

On the other hand, full State honor has been given to the six Manipur Rifles personnel who lost their lives in the ambush.

Unidentified gunmen ambushed the MLA and his convoy party on the way to Imphal while returning from attending a public function at Riha village under Litan Police Station of Ukhrul district. Riha falls within the jurisdiction of Phungyar Assembly Constituency.

In all six personnel of Manipur Rifles and the personal driver of the MLA, a civilian, lost their lives at the spot while five other personnel of Manipur Rifles and another civilian sustained injuries in the attack.

However, the  injured civilian, a retired District Social Welfare Officer namely Vaorei Keishing (65) of Nambashi Khullen but staying New Checkon succumbed to injuries late last night at Shija Hospital, where he was admitted for treatment, thus increasing the death toll to eight.

Vaorei Keishing was travelling along with the MLA in one Gypsy when it came under attack.

On the other hand, State honor has been given to the six Manipur Rifles personnel who lost their lives in the ambush today.

The post-mortem examination of the bodies was conducted at the mortuary of RIMS today morning. From there, the coffins carrying the bodies were covered with the tri-color and brought to the complex of 1st Manipur Rifles where the Samadhi of the slain State Police personnel is located.

There, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh led his Council of Ministers, MLAs and other top police and civil officers in laying floral wreaths.

Afterward, a two minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed souls amid sounding of last post and gun salute before bodies of the slain personnel were sent to their respective native places for performing the last rites.

Expressing condolences to the bereaved families, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh described the attack on MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing and his convoy party as an act of cowardice.

The Chief Minister has also assured that no effort would be spared from arresting and punishing the perpetrators.

Announcing that suitable Government jobs would be given to the next of kin of the slain personnel, the Chief Minister assured that in case the job of the security force is not to the liking of the bereaved family, every possible benefits including the amount of the salary being withdrawn and the pension would be extended.

To a question from media persons on what would be done if NSCN (IM) is found to be involved in the attack, the Chief Minister maintained that it needs to be confirmed first.

The six personnel of Manipur Rifles who lost their lives in the yesterday’s ambush are Hodam Narendra (28) of Keishamthong Hodam Leirak (Havildar in 1st Manipur Rifles), Khaidem Kunjo (56) of Nambol Thiyam Maning Leikai (Havildar in 1st Manipur Rifles), Ahongbam Tomba of Moirang Shribon Leikai (Rifleman in Ist Manipur Rifles) and Riflemen in 6th Manipur Rifles Md Tajuddin (38)  of Yairipok Bamon Leikai, M Pureng (45) of Nongman (Phungyar) and Yumnam Surchand (31) of Sangakpham.

The bodies of Ramreingam alias Aboi (23) of Patbung (Phungyar), the personal driver of the MLA and who died at the spot and that of Vaorei Keishing were also handed over to their respective family members after post-mortem examination at RIMS today.

The last memorial service of Vaorei Keishing was performed today itself at the Chingmeirong cemetery.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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